Two students studying in front of bookcase

Doctoral Education: DSW or PhD, which is right for me?

Ready to Pursue Doctoral Work?

  • Curious about the difference between a doctorate in social work (DSW) and a doctor of philosophy in social work (PhD)?
  • Wondering what pathways each degree opens and how to get there?
  • Ready to challenge yourself further?

If you answered yes to any of the above, join us for one of the virtual open houses by registering for one of the virtual open houses listed below! 


Info Sessions

The Difference

Until the open house, a succinct answer to the difference between programs is that the DSW program aims to develop you into a scholar-practitioner while the PhD aims to develop you into a researcher-academic. These are not mutually exclusive nor that simple, however, so if you are on the fence, please attend one of the virtual open houses listed above. See the short video below for a bit more discussion of the similarities and differences.

Two students in classroom

What to expect during an info session

The Associate Director of Doctoral Programs, Judie McCoyd, will describe the similarities of doctoral work and the differences between DSW and PhD programs at Rutgers for the first half hour. The Directors of each of the programs will generally be available to meet with people during the second half hour, and then Judie will remain available to talk with anyone who has ongoing questions.

If you have pressing questions right now, please feel free to email Judie to set a time to meet or send specific questions and she will answer them.

Judie McCoyd, PhD, LCSW (PA) 

Photo of DSW Student in red regalia and hand over their heart for the pledge of allegence